Thursday, April 14, 2016


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Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence
Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and foreign intelligence agencies. His views are his own and do not reflect those of any organization he is a member of. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


     So you want to learn how to be a lock-picker? The latest issue of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) weekly intelligence notes (WIN) update announced a "Lockpicking 101" course you can enroll in! 
     It's sounds like a lot of fun. The workshop will be held at the International Spy Museum on Monday, 27 June 2016, 6:30-9 pm in Washington, DC. The AFIO memo mentions that "spying today may seem dominated by the digital realm of hackers, cryptography, and eavesdropping, but the field operative will never go away." Yeah, love that good old-fashioned HUMINT (human intelligence) that the CIA is most noted for! 
     The AFIO WIN memo states, "In the physical world, where secrets are under lock and key, sometimes the only way in is to pick the lock." 
     Preston Thomas, president of the DC Chapter of The Open Organization Of Lockpickers will be your instructor and you'll learn the art and science of how locks work-and how to open them. From classical picking to field expedient methods, you will learn the tools and techniques necessary to attack many common locks. Check out the video below to see Preston Thomas explain the "do's" and "do not's" of ethical lockpicking:
     At this workshop, you will learn how to get out of handcuffs and zip ties with your wits and a bobby pin. You'll work in small groups alongside real-life lockpicking experts until you get "the touch," then put your skills to the test against other students.
     High-quality lock picking kits will be available to take home after the class for $25 (cash or check). Please email if you would like one. Food and drink will be available for purchase throughout the event.
     Location: City Tap House, 901 9th St NW, Washington, DC - TICKETS: $35. Space limited to 30 - advance registration required. No tickets available at event. To register contact:

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Saturday, April 9, 2016


     After 9/11, a new breed of warrior enlisted into the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). They are eager to exchange blows with radical Islamists yearning to slay Americans. Most volunteered after 9/11 and the first post 9/11 class was named "Class 11". The CIA had a significant turnover and over half of the current CIA staff are post 9/11 recruits.
     The excellent video with CIA operative Bob Baer (below) talks about joining the CIA. You will glean useful knowledge from it:    
     Some years ago, as a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), I gained clearance into the CIA HQ in Langley, Va. for a seminar about the history of the OSS. That’s when I met Susan Gordon, Directorate of Science and Technology. She lauded the new CIA recruits and I wanted to find out more about them. I applied for an interview with Gordon, but a man named George Little in the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs dutifully kept me from interviewing her. His reply: While we won’t be able to make an interview happen at this time, we’ll certainly keep your interest in mind for the future.”
     I never heard from Mr. Little since, but no mind. I'm glad the CIAs counterintelligence policies are being carried out. However, I did find some declassified info using data mining and other OSINT tradecraft. Even though CIA hiring data is kept hush-hush, I did ferret out general information about the young recruits.
     The CIA actively pursues individuals who have traveled abroad and possess language skills relevant to the Middle East, Central Asia and East Asia. As a whole, the recruits are a diversified and highly-skilled group. The average age is 29, a third are women, 12 percent are ethnic minorities, 75 percent speak foreign languages fluently, and 70 percent never worked for the government or military.
     The new recruits are high-quality and patriotic. In one year after 9/11, the CIA had 138,000 applicants from which they selected only 2,000 (Guilsher 2004). Many of them could easily have accepted higher-paying jobs in the private sector. 
     With such a large influx of applicants, the CIA can afford to be more selective and  amassed an elite force unsurpassed in technical and human skills needed to combat radical Islam and global terrorism.
     I found that the number of CIA clandestine operatives doubled in size since 9/11 and their training has been reworked. After teaching and preparation for overseas work is completed at a remote and mysterious place in Virginia called The Farm, the graduates branch out throughout the world. These computer-saavy recruits are America’s first line of defense to counter self-autonomous, leaderless terrorist cells that circle the globe and communicate via internet, fax machine, cellular phone, and courier to plan and quickly swarm together to strike inside Europe and America.     
CIA trainees recruit foreign assets
 at fake embassy receptions
     Ex- CIA Director Panetta did much during his tenure by doing away with discredited policies and restoring the CIA's tradition of providing impartial, nonpolitical analysis, regardless of what the president – or vice president – wants to hear. Since 1999, training in the clandestine service has evolved considerably to reflect current realities (Guilsher).
     The new recruits learn evasive-driving and paramilitary skills that CIA case officers use in Iraq and Afghanistan on a daily basis. They attend pretend embassy receptions and learn how to recruit "foreigners" to spy for the CIA.
Valerie Plame was a CIA NOC

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


     I received a memo from ACT for America that I'd like to share. It seems the Obama administration recently gave a $270,000 grant to an Islamic charity that has been banned by Israel and the United Arab Emirates because of alleged financial ties to the terrorist group Hamas and to the Muslim Brotherhood. 

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     The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided the funds to the U.K.-based Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) for its work in Kenya. It battles infectious diseases and promotes global health security. Sound good, but the IRW has been at the center of other security concerns, including 6 "head's up" warnings that should raise some eyebrows: 
  1. In 2014, Israel and United Arab Emirates banned IRW, which is headquartered in Birmingham, England, from operating within its borders alleging that the group supports and funds Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s military arm in Palestine.
  2. Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon alleged in July 2014 that IRW’s chapters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were being run by members of Hamas.
  3. The IRW is one of the sources of Hamas’s funding and a means for raising funds from various countries in the world, according to Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon.
  4. In 2006, the Israeli Security Agency arrested Iyaz Ali, a Pakistani-born British national who worked as project director of IRW’s operations in the West Bank. Ali transferred funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations, including the Al Wafa and Al Tzalah associations, which have been outlawed in Israel, according to  Israel’s defense ministry. Ali also admitted that he had worked and cooperated with Hamas operatives in Jordan.
  5. The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure and its  operations are controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives.
  6. In Nov. 2014, United Arab Emirates added IRW to its list of designated terrorist organizations. HSBC, the London-based bank, also severed its relationship with IRW, citing the alleged terror ties.
     The IRW denies any associations with Hamas or terrorist activities and President Obama cites the group’s work on international relief issues. But Ryan Mauro, who tracks terror-linked groups for the Clarion Project, says that IRW’s links to Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood should, at the very least, disqualify it from receiving any federal funding.
    The CDC grant isn’t the first federal grant IRW has received this year. As the Washington Free Beacon reported in December, U.S. Agency for International Development gave IRW a $100,000 stipend, also for work in Kenya.

 Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online Spy series, "Corey Pearson, CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Reach us on the Secure Contact Form. 

Friday, April 1, 2016


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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Russia's FSB, Hezbollah base in Cuba, CIA & NSA side with Apple over FBI and more!

     Russia's spy agency Federal Security Service (FSB) has new special ops vehicle that Putin inspects; Israeli ex-Mossad spy chief dies; Hillary Clinton's emails reveal that Hezbollah has established a base in Cuba; the NSA, CIA and other spy agencies side with Apple in the FBI encryption battle; Ireland is the global per capita leader for Radical Islam...these are just a few of the happenings in this 3/19/16 Issue of Spy Agency Happenings! Newsletter. Enjoy an entertaining and educational read!

     FYI: As a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), I was honored to be invited to meet General Michael Hayden, ex-Director of both the CIA and NSA, at a luncheon in early March. This is a photo of the general autographing his book for me. We had a great time and he enlightened us all on America's 21st strategy battling Radical Islam. He stressed that we are NOT at war with Muslims or the Muslim religion.
     Enjoy this 3/19/16 Issue of Spy Agency Happenings!

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online Spy series, "Corey Pearson, CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Reach us on the Secure Contact Form. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016


     Mark Dubowitz is Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, DC. I heard him talk on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on 3/11/16 regarding Iran's firing of two long-range ballistic missiles with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written in Hebrew on each one. As I listened to his dialogue with the audience call-ins, eight thoughts of Iran developing a nuclear weapon with ICBM-delivery capabilities surfaced in my mind:

     First, the timing of the launch was perfect: as Vice President Biden visited Israel. U.S officials gave a quick, bland response to the hard-liners in Iran by saying the missile launches did not violate the nuclear deal reached in January.

     Iran’s message was clear and I thought about the awkward discussion the missile launch must have generated between Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Certainly, Biden couldn’t urge him to end the aggressive actions taken by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Mossad intelligence agency against Hamas and the Palestinians. Too bad, for each new Israeli settlement built in heretofore Palestinian lands indirectly energizes the hard-liners in Iran to continue their revolutionary ambitions against the pro-Israeli U.S.

     The missile launch precluded Biden from urging Netanyahu to re-open peace talks with the Palestinians, since the Hebrew words written on the two Iranian missiles were reminders to him that every country touching Israel's border desires to wipe out every man, woman, and child within.

     Second, I thought about what will happen as the ten-year inspections of and restrictions on Iran’s nuclear power development ease. I wrote an article listing six resources that studied Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and wonder if they will double-cross us and resume underground nuclear weapons development. What will the U.S. and Israel do if Iran breaks the nuclear deal? Would America once again warn Israel to "hold back" from bombing Iran while beginning a replication of nuclear talks with Iran?

     I doubt Israeli would cooperate with us a second time. Instead, they would justifiably launch a massive military strike with bunker-busting bombs or tactical nuclear weapons against all Iranian nuclear sites. This could lead to all-out war in the region, but Israel's perception would be that they have nothing to lose. The image of the words Israel Must Be Wiped Out! written in Hebrew on Iranian missiles armed with nuclear weapons is embedded in the minds of every Israeli.

     In the midst of this uncertainty, it is reasonable to conclude that Israel has expanded its intelligence network in Iran to keep tabs on nuclear deal compliance. I doubt if they would rely solely on the findings of the IAEA inspectors on the ground in Iran. A covert campaign of assassinations of Iran's nuclear scientists, digital attacks against its computer systems, even selective small-scale aerial bombings of Iran's nuclear facilities could very well occur if the IAEA inspectors are thwarted in doing their job.

     A third concern entered my mind, one that bothers me greatly: An Iranian nuclear strike against Israel is in the cards if Iran's citizenry someday revolts in an "Iranian Spring." The elite Ayatollahs, fortified in their bunkers in the holy city of Qom, once they realize all is lost, may very well launch their nuclear warheads at Israel. Nuclear capabilities will make an "Iranian Spring" vastly different from the "Arab Springs."

     A fourth thought: Americans forget how much the Iranian government despises the U.S. Even though a nuclear deal has been agreed upon, Iran loathes our foreign policy in the Middle East. They have not forgotten the events and aftermath of the 1979 hostage crisis...their revolution lives on! The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei now runs Iran and has final say-so on all matters and he, indeed, has not forgotten the U.S. support for the Pahlavi dynasty and the Shah's despotic terrorization over the Iranian citizenry.   

     Khamenei directs actions against the U.S. and the West through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and his terrorist proxy, Hezbollah. It was he who OK'd taking 10 U.S. sailors hostage in the Persian Gulf when their small craft accidentally veered off course. It was he who engineered past confrontations with the U.S., such as threatening to cut-off the world's oil supply in the Strait of Hormuz whenever they disagreed with us on a variety of issues which could be handled diplomatically. 

     With an arsenal of nuclear weapons, such disagreements grow highly dangerous, for chances are good that a spark could ignite another major war in the region, a war beyond our wildest dreams that might involve China and Russia as well.

     My fifth concern is about the U.S. underestimation of the strength possessed by Hezbollah, Iran's terrorist proxy. It is the world's largest, most sophisticated, and wealthiest and most military-capable terror organization around. With sanctions being lifted, billions will be spent by Iran to create, train, fund and deploy more Hezbollah cells in Europe, Africa, Asia, and in the Tri-Border area of South America. In fact, the U.S. State Department totally underestimates Iran's presence in Latin America.

     Hezbollah has murdered more Americans than anyone other than al-Qaeda. Forget about Camp David talks with the Iranian leaders anytime soon, for since the 1979 Islamic Revolution Iran continues to use a unique ideology to achieve hardheaded national interest objectives based on extremist ideological goals. This uncompromising diplomatic approach will continue and has been demonstrated by their response to past economic sanctions placed upon them: They grew more unified.

     Yes, I have a sixth trepidation! Iran’s animosity towards Israel places the U.S. between a rock and a hard place: between Israel's justified paranoia and Iran's bellicose verbiage and terrorist deeds. I do not blame Israel for its past aggressive attempts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities. Iran has murdered Israeli citizens throughout the world, for years. Do we not remember the AMIA bombing attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina building in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, that killed 85 people and injured hundreds? It was Argentina's deadliest bombing in a Jewish community of 200,000, the largest in Latin America.

     This bombing case went to court and was marked by incompetence and accusations of cover-ups. Despite overwhelming evidence against them, all suspects were found to be not guilty in September 2004. In August 2005, federal judge Juan José Galeano was impeached and removed from his post on charges of "serious" irregularities and of mishandling of the investigation. It doesn't appear Jews are safe anywhere. 

     Then, on October 25, 2006, Argentine prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos formally accused the government of Iran for directing the bombing and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, for planning and executing the bombing attack. The prosecution claimed in 2006 that Argentina had been targeted by Iran after the Buenos Aires' decision to suspend a nuclear technology transfer contract to Tehran. This "payback" response to not getting what they want is another example of Iran's hardheaded diplomacy.

     Here’s a seventh thought that makes me uneasy: Iran's nuclear power plants. They will produce plenty of highly-enriched uranium (HEU). Is Iran capable of allowing their terrorist proxy to accidentally "steal" the spent nuclear fuel rods to be used by Hezbollahto create a "super" dirty, radioactive bomb to explode inside Israel...or downtown Manhattan...or in Washington, DC.? I think so.

     Lastly, a concluding eight thought: I don’t blame Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for chastising the U.S. and addressing our joint session of Congress last year, for he doesn’t trust Iran to abide by the rules listed in the nuclear deal. The only reason Iran agreed to the deal was due to the economic chaos it experienced.

     Go back to the December 2010 and January 2011 talks with the six powers. All tried to negotiate with Iran, but zero progress was made. Only when the significant 2012 multilateral sanctions were imposed on Iran's oil exports, including an oil purchase embargo by the European Union, did they decide to enter new nuclear talks without preconditions (After they tried to block commerce in the Strait of Hormuz). Of course, at the same time, Iran began uranium enrichment at a deep underground facility near Qom.  

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online Spy series, "Corey Pearson, CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Reach us on the Secure Contact Form.